Mentor coach Jeff Haase has repeatedly called his team “scrappy,” and he knows well that not every game is going to be pretty.
Haase got a beautiful start from a senior right-hander and a scrappy effort from his offense in Game No. 2 to remain unbeaten on the season.
Ryan Kanetsky threw a complete-game, three-hit shutout to lead Mentor to a 3-0 victory over host Riverside on April 6.
The Cardinals improved to 2-0 on the season with a challenging week ahead that – weather permitting – includes a home-and-home against Strongsville, Mayfield and four games in a weekend tournament at Baldwin Wallace.
“Ryan got ahead of hitters and threw one ground ball after another and it was really a great outing,” Haase said. “We kind of stopped hitting after the first two innings and we got a little lethargic, but we were scrappy. I have said it is going to take 1 through 18 on this team to get it done and today was an example of a team win.
“Every day we set a goal to get the next ‘W’. We accomplished that, maybe not the greatest manner today, but hats off to Riverside for playing well – they have a great ballclub … Where we will see where are at this week.”
Mentor jumped on top, 1-0, in the top of the first inning and added a run in the second to give Kanetsky all he needed.
“I really had the two-seam working and I hit my spots, which was key because I am not going to overpower people with my fastball,” Kanetsky said. “I think it was huge to get the lead, get that cushion and we got a big defensive effort today. I trust these guys.
“I think it is huge to start 2-0 and all the hard work is paying off.”
Cardinals sophomore Nathan Birtley had a pair of hits and scored two runs. Ricky Valeri had two hits in the win for Mentor.